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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mary L. Tabor: Sex After Sixty


 My guest today is Mary Tabor, author of (Re) Making Love, for those of us over 60.


Welcome to the blog, Mary. Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.

I say, It ain’t over till it’s over. I published my first book when I turned 60.

Congratulations!

How many books have you written?

Three: two published and one not: My first book is The Woman Who Never Cooked, connected stories Mid-List Press, winner of the First Series Award. I then wrote a novel entitled Who by Fire (excerpts have won prizes, but the book has not found a publisher yet. My most recent is the memoir (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story, published by the fab Anthony Policastro, CEO of Outer Banks Publishing Group.

What books or authors have influenced you?

 A: Nabokov, for the beauty of his prose, his love of games, and his depth of feeling. Speak, Memory is my favorite memoir. Joyce because of the humanity of Ulysses. Folks read all the glosses, try to get all the allusions and get mired in the complexity of the tale when its power is its pure simplicity: one day, two men, each on a separate long journey and a meeting that changes them both and the reader for ever.

 I don’t write like either of them but their power over me has been undeniable.

 What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

My readers when the book was a blog: They shored me up. I forged ahead on the sea of their belief.

 Tell us about your latest release, (Re)Making Love.

 I wrote this memoir live as a blog while I was living it. My husband of 21 years, Oh so Greta Garbo said one day, “I need to live alone.” I cratered. And then I wrote. The journey of the good, the bad and the oh so foolish is my story. But ultimately, the journey turned into a love story I could never have imagined. In this way, the old saw truth is stranger than fiction became a reality.

Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?

Yes, all three. Check out Amazon here: http://amzn.to/nqg0yo but you can also read it on your iPad through Smashwords.

Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others?

The memoir was the most challenging because I left the cover of fiction. I do think all heartrending and deeply moving fictions come from the writer’s willingness to venture into the unconscious and that is true of my short stories and the unpublished novel. But with the cover of fiction, I could be as bare as I am in the memoir but never have to say it was true when much of it actually is. With the memoir, my heart, my life and stuff I would never tell you in conversation get revealed. It was hard to do but hard not to do. I suspect that paradox is the artist’s burden.

How do you develop characters?

All my writing begins with a character. Henry James in his preface to The Ambassadors talks of the novel’s “strong stake.” I think what he means is that we must know the trouble that drives the character, but the strong stake is ultimately the fullness of that character’s life on the page. In his preface to The Golden Bowl, he admits how he inexorably chooses to move closer. “There is no other participant, of course, than each of the real, the deeply involved and immersed and more or less bleeding participants….”

In the case of the memoir—and maybe all my work—I grapple with the question, Who am I?  Here’s something I say in the prologue of the memoir, now in its second edition, that might explain better what I mean:

For this second edition that comes now one year after its first publication, I would like to share with you as you embark on the journey of (Re)Making Love what I have learned about living within time’s limits from writing this book and from living beyond its first publication. Rabbi Hillel, who spoke these words 2,000 years ago, has been widely quoted ever since, perhaps most notably in my lifetime by the ilk of Primo Levi and Robert F. Kennedy.

 If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?

 Truly knowing what these words mean has come from the place of not knowing. And by this I mean that I have had to live this journey without the full understanding of their plain spoken sense. I have had to learn the hard way: through the good, the bad and the foolish that this memoir recounts.

 Where can folks learn more about your books and events?


Blog: http://maryltabor.blogspot.com

FB: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Tabor/125813534105239

Twitter: http://twitter/com/maryltabor

Continued success, Mary, and Merryu Christmas!

You too, Susan.

5 comments:

Sean Giorgianni said...

That's a fabulous interview. But more importantly, it's an inspiring interview! I say inspiring because Mary is able to capture what it means to really read and relate to authors and, in the process, enrich one's own life. I can only hope Mary's around another 60 years to tell us more.

Mary L. Tabor said...

One can never underestimate the value of encouragement in a writer's life. Consider all those who have been burdened by their gifts. Norman Mailer, who achieved great fame, said every one of his books killed him a little. And then there's the list of inventive artists who have died by their own hands. I thank you, Sean, for taking the time here to give me hope.

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